S: Nationals 2011
BC: Thank you Grandma for joining us on such a wonderful trip. We love you.
FC: Summer Nationals Stanford University August, 2011
1: Our journey from East to West did not go as planned. We spent 24 hours traveling in total. Thirteen hours were spent in the Minneapolis Airport alone, however, we made the best of a bad situation, and eventually made it to California!
2: To get to Aunt Virginia's we had to drive over the San Mateo bridge which was about 3 miles long! | After a long day of traveling, we had to pick up our luggage from the San Jose Airport the following morning. Once we did that, we were able to relax at the hotel for a little bit and then go to see Aunt Virginia and Cindy. After enjoying the afternoon at Aunt Virginia's house, we then went to meet Ashely at an excellent Chinese restaurant where we ordered WAY TOO MUCH food!!!
3: We were finally able to go to the swim meet at the Avery Aquatic Center at Stanford University. We watched Rachel compete in many events both at prelims in the morning, and finals in the evening. The weather was perfect. Sunny and warm, but not too hot for the swimmers! | Would you like some CeraVe? | Would you like a towel? | How about a t-shirt for my Mom and brother? They're in the bathroom...
4: We spent a day shopping at the mall and watching Rachel swim. We got to eat our traditional California Pizza Kitchen meal at the mall. Grandma tried out the massage chair and clearly didn't like it! We got to visit Rachel at her hotel. She stayed at the Stanford Guest House which was a very nice hotel right on campus. | Fierce Competitor!
5: We spent a wonderful day touring San Francisco. However, we had to find a little shop to buy sweatshirts and scarves because we were so cold! We took a bridge to bridge cruise which took us underneath the Golden Gate bridge, around Alcatraz Island, past Treasure Island and then underneath the Bay Bridge. We then went to Boudin for some soup and California Sourdough bread! Afterwards we found Lombard street and went all the way to the top to see Coit tower and a beautiful overlook of the city.
7: Before heading out on our San Fran day trip, we stopped at Target to get "Sea-Bands" to help us from getting seasick while on the boat. They worked! We also brought Rach a little sourdough bread bowl back to her hotel which also seemed to work because she had an excellent performance in her 400 IM the next day!
9: Every morning at our hotel we were able to have a nice, large "free" breakfast. We usually ate after we exercised in the workout room at the hotel or after we went on the trail that was nearby. The Hyatt also had a pool that we spent a couple days lounging around and a hot tub that was nice to warm up with the cool breeze. We also were able to take advantage of the "free" social hour dinner that our hotel provided. Unfortunately because of time we were only able to do this one night- it was so good! Everyone knows that our family is full of big eaters, when we vacation that is no exception! We usually brought bars, nuts, and beef jerky everywhere we went and we relied heavily on the "free coffee" from our hotel to get us through the time change!
11: We were so lucky to be able to see Aunt Virginia, Debbie, Ashely, Christine, and Cindy as much as we did. We were able to go out to eat with them again at Olive Garden where we stayed late enjoying good food and great conversation. We also were able to meet up with them the next day at Santa Cruz where we had lunch and coffee on the Pier.
12: On our last full day, Rachel competed in her Championshp final for the 800 Meter Freestyle. She had an incredible swim and ended up placing fourth which got her on the medal stand! She had fantastic swims all week. She dropped time in every event and came back for finals in every swim except one. Her performances were so exceptional that she earned a spot on the National Junior Team which meant she qualified for Junior World Championships in Peru. We had so much fun watching Rachel swim. She worked hard all year and it all paid off! | R A C H E L
14: A picture of Coit tower- there was an excellent overview of the city from this spot! | One of the lighthouses on Highway 1. | We enjoyed touring the Stanford Campus and eating on University drive- beautiful! | The mascot of Stanford is the "Cardinal". We learned that this is a type of tree that is common on campus | After Jacob threw catch with Mom for a while, he was the only one brave enough to go into the cold bay water! | The beautiful view of San Francisco from Coit Tower.
15: “Our family is a circle of love and strength. With every failure and every success, our family is bonded. Every joy shared adds more love. Every obstacle faced together makes the circle stronger.” -Anonymous